Sunday, December 13, 2015

Inspired by the Land

Wellington Creek  Oil on board
I was inspired to paint this en plien air piece last Sunday, it was a beautifully mild day, unseasonable for this time of the year but great to be sitting outdoors doing what I love.  A friend of mine posted a short video on my Facebook page called "Inspired by the Land" which is a commentary on how Artists respond and interact with Nature, very inspiring to see it and the people I know that are featured in the piece. Check it out on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Pond of Water by the Woods

A pond of Water by the Woods  Pastel on Paper
I worked on a farm house not far from this scene this past spring and summer and was quite taken with the place, it was a bee hive of activity all the time. Many birds and waterfowl, bugs, beavers and muskrats, foxes and coyotes just to name a few.  I loved how it had an ever changing ambiance to it depending on the kind of day it was. I'm lucky and thankful to be able to be witness these miraculous places and times.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Magical morning

Sparkling Creek  Oil on Board
It was a magical morning as I went for a walk in my favourite places near home.  The creek is always a source of inspiration and peace and I was inspired to paint what I saw and felt.  I still have to figure out how to paint the lovely ice crystals I saw forming on the rocks and twigs.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Squash  Pastel on Paper
What you are looking is my entire squash population from this past planting season. Oh well, better than a  kick in the pants! My brother Richard is a squash maniac, he harvests hundreds of them of various species, including an ancient squash. He acquired the seeds from an archaeologist who determined that they were over 800 years old.  I hope to plant them next year.  Enjoy.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Autumn Abstraction Oil 12 x 12 in.

Its that kind of a day, transitioning from autumn to something that is approaching winter. I was out in my flower garden reluctantly pulling out flower plants and moving them to the compost pile, a sad time but optimistic about the spring.  Planted some tulips in a pot and set it out by the entrance to my studio, again looking forward to their happy colours in the spring of the year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Glorious Autumn Afternoon

Autumn Afternoon in the hills of Eastend
I spent some quality time with my good friend Dean Bauche of Eastend SK awhile back and we managed to find some time to hike back into the hills around his home and do some en plein air painting. It was one of those glorious Autumn afternoons where the colours were so vibrant and the air was so crisp and fragrant with the odor of fallen leaves. Can't get much better I think.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

California Poppies

California Poppies Oil on Cardstock
This is a plein air piece I've been working on periodically as I find the time and the right light. I sit in my backyard on a nice warm and sunny day and enjoy the moment. Its fall now and there are many thousands of geese flying back and forth overhead, an nice soundtrack to paint to!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Schist Lake Afternoon

Schist Lake Afternoon  Oil  36 x36

I painted this piece at an Art Retreat that I was a co-organizer of in Assiniboia, Sk a few weeks ago.  Its been a summer of larger clouds but not necessarily a lot of rain, particularly in the northern part of Canada. I love painting the Northland, a place where I was born and raised.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Approaching Storm over Manitou

Approaching Storm over Manitou Lake Oil 36 x 48

I've just come home from our Annual Artists Retreat. This year we organized it to be in Assiniboia, Sk. the home of the fabulous Shurniak Art Gallery.  Bill Shurniak and staff are celebrating their 10 year anniversary of the opening of this absolute gem of Gallery. I'd venture to say that there is nothing in Western Canada to compare with it, and I've been in a few galleries out here!  The retreat is a week long and brings together artists from all parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and sometimes further away places.
This Oil painting was started on the first day of the retreat and depicts a wicked storm coming over the lake. It spawned a twister that you can pick out if you look carefully.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Its a beautiful Spring day and I'm reminded of this poem by Rumi called the Music we Are.

Did you hear that winter  is over?
The basil and carnation cannot control their laughter.
The nightingale, back from his wandering,
has been made singing master over all the birds.
The trees reach out their congratulations.
The soul goes dancing through the King's doorway.
Anemones blush because they have seen the Rose naked.
Spring, the only fair judge, walks in the courtroom, and several December thieves steal away.
Last years miracles will soon be forgotten.
New creatures whirl in from nonexistence,
galaxies scattered around their feet.
Have you met them?
Do you hear the bud of Jesus crooning in the cradle?
A single narcissus flower has been appointed Inspector of Kingdoms.
A feast is set. Listen The wind is pouring wine.
Love used to hide inside images. No more. The orchard hangs out its lanterns.
The dead come stumbling by in shrouds.
Nothing can stay bound or be imprisoned.
You say, End this poem here, and wait for what is next.
I will, Poems are rough notations for the Music we Are.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Late March Snowscape
This Oil painting depicts an outcropping of precambrian shield at Mistik Creek, near Cranberry Portage, Mb.  I managed to find my way up there a couple of months ago to visit old friends and the countryside where I was born.  I took many photographs and plan on painting some of the scenes I came across.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The next best thing to eating cherries

Three Cherries  Oil on Board 6 x 8
For me the next best thing to eating cherries is painting them. I know, kind of weird, but that's me. I like this painting as it turned out as I had envisioned it and more.  Enjoy !

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March Hoar Frost

March Hoar Frost   Oil    10 x 12
This small oil began its life as another painting of a similar subject but I wasn't satisfied with how it was working so I took a paint scraper to it and began anew. It depicts one of the many favorite walks I take around my neighborhood. Painted entirely with a painting knife.

Monday, March 23, 2015

March Snow

Fresh March Snow Watercolour 
I felt in the mood to do a watercolour today. We've had a bit of fresh snow over the last few days and more is coming our way after losing alot of it to a spring thaw. I love the brightness of the light at this time of the year, everything is so vibrant, almost blinding when the sun shines on the snow. Sunglasses are a must.  I can't take all the credit for this painting, it was inspired by the late English watercolourist Roland Hilder. I am quite fond of his technique, it resonates with my own. This piece includes many of my favourite things about this time of the year, low scudding clouds, bright snow, shadows on the snow and colour that hints at spring around the corner.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Shack

The Shack
I call this the Shack but it was actually a small cottage down the back lane from me. Last spring someone came and knocked it down and hauled it away. Glad I came across it when I did. There's lots of places like this out here, nobody comes to them anymore and they get tired of paying taxes on them so down they come. This time of the year the shadows are getting longer and the colours brighter (and the sun warmer)!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Annapurna Valley

Annapurna, Nepal
Friends of mine spent almost a year near here and quite often hiked themselves and with friends of theirs. While painting this I was imagining myself sitting on the boulder in the foreground and painting from life. Oh well, maybe some day!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Barby Lake

Barby Lake, Mb.
I found myself reminiscing about one of my all time favourite fishing spots in Manitoba. Although it could be frustrating trying to catch those prize winning Rainbow Trout, many times I went home empty handed, when you were successful it was exhilarating to reel in those beauties. I got 2 Master Angler sized Trout out of this lake. The lake itself is beautiful, I have been here winter, summer, spring and fall and all seasons have their special charm and beauty. In this oil I've tried to capture the serenity of the place and also the fickleness of those Rainbows by depicting the one that got away!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Celebration of Place

Mystical Land
This is a 40 x 48 inch Oil on Board portraying in a mystical, whimsical way the land around which I live. Manitou Beach, SK is a jewel of a place. The lakewater is saltier than the Red Sea and many people come from the world over to bath in its waters for the healing effect. I believe the air has some subtle qualities as well that most people don't talk about but to me it seems to enhance colours, sound and consciousness. Now, that might just be the artist in me talking but there are people who speak about how good it feels to be present here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mistik Creek

Mistik Creek
This is an oil painting of Mistik Creek, near Flin Flon, Manitoba. It was a favourite haunt of mine when I lived in The Pas, Mb.  Going back up that way in a few weeks to visit some good friends, really looking forward to seeing the North country again!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spring yearnings

Manitou Morning Reflections

We seem to have long winters around here and I'm getting yearnings for more spring like days. I have a friend who has rented a home/studio on Vancouver Island for two months and when I was talking to him on the phone the other day he had just got back from kayaking. That seems pretty appealing to me right about now.  The watercolour above was painted en plein air when we had some balmy weather that was conducive to painting out of doors.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rocky Lake

Rocky Lake, Manitoba  Oil  9 x 12 in
We used to have a winterized cottage not far from this location where we spent many perfect days doing what you do at the lake, fishing summer and winter, swimming, paddling, exploring, cross country skiing and so much more.  Lately I have these pangs of longing about the North.  I spent over 40 years up there, its really in my blood!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I've had some interesting interactions with Ravens in the last couple of days. Yesterday one flew to a tree that I was standing beneath and just kind of hung out for awhile, listening to our conversation and occasionally adding a comment!  Then today while on a walk that this painting depicts three Ravens were hanging out near me.  I made some Raven like calls and one of them starting talking back to me. Probably confusing it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A cold January day

I've posted this pastel painting before and I'm thinking that it expresses perfectly the quality of the day I'm experiencing. Close to -30 Celcius with a bit of wind, ice fog in the air and the sunlight like its coming through obscure glass.